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With its mild hurricane season and reduced impacts from the pandemic, 2022 was a return to normalcy for many people. But for the most vulnerable people in southeast Louisiana housing injustice, personal tragedies, economic insecurity, and the bureaucratic hassles of the Hurricane Ida recovery process have perpetuated the state of crisis we’ve all felt over the last few years. But with your support, we were able to help thousands of families get the legal relief they needed to overcome threats to their homes, families, livelihoods, and safety.
Since Hurricane Katrina, notorious slumlord Joshua Bruno has been terrorizing low-income tenants in the New Orleans area. Several apartment complexes he owned were in deplorable condition. Tenants were frequently subject to unethical management practices. When the properties went into foreclosure and then bankruptcy, SLLS intervened in federal court on behalf of a group of tenants to demand that the court appoint new management and fix hundreds of units. After months of stall tactics, the judge removed Bruno from control of most of the properties, paving the way for desperately needed repairs to be made. This huge victory in the fight for fairness would not have happened without your support.
Alice’s* daughter was tragically murdered by her partner, leaving behind a two-year-old daughter who would never get to know her mother. With your help, we were able to take court action for Alice so that she could establish permanent sole custody and her granddaughter could inherit her mother’s estate. Now Alice will be surrounded by family with the support she needs to both provide for her granddaughter and keep her daughter’s memory alive. Your generous support for civil legal aid helped Alice and her family at a time in their life when the last thing they needed was to worry about how to pay for an attorney.
In the 15 months since Hurricane Ida made landfall, you made it possible for over 1,700 disaster survivors like Jasmine* to get over $3 million in economic benefits to help rebuild their lives. Jasmine was still reeling from losing her job in the service industry during the pandemic when Hurricane Ida hit. Her apartment had severe damage from the storm. With no advance notice to her and while she was evacuated, her landlord gutted her home and threw out her personal property. To add insult to injury, when she returned her landlord had filed an eviction for past due rent. Because of your generosity we were able to help her get expedited rental assistance and we worked out a settlement agreement in court to stop the eviction. Now Jasmine can focus on her young daughter and saving money to replace their belongings.
Together, we’ve achieved justice for thousands of people this year, but there are many more vulnerable families on the brink who will need civil legal aid in the coming year. That’s why we’re asking for your continued support in our pursuit of fairness for vulnerable people. We hope you can consider investing in justice for low-income families to help us meet our year-end goal of raising $20,000. Your gift will help get us one step closer to a society in which equal justice for all is a reality.